12/26/2007 - Seven U.S. representatives have signed on as co-sponsors of H.R. 4236, the Mail Network Protection Act introduced by Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA). Introduced in the House on Nov. 15, the bill would require the Postal Service to bargain with postal unions before engaging in significant subcontracting. The union has been strenuously advocating such legislation for several months, including in congressional testimony in April and July.
The seven co-sponsors are Yvette Clark (D-NY), Al Green (D-TX), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Patrick Murphy (D-PA), Laura Richardson (D-CA), Christopher Smith (R-NJ), and John Tierney (D-MA). Congress is now on break until after New Year’s.
12/21/2007 - The APWU restructuring committee, which met for the first time during the All-Craft Conference in Las Vegas, was addressed by President William Burrus during a teleconference meeting on Dec. 19. Burrus assured participants that he would not attempt to influence their deliberations, noting that the national union is not seeking to restructure. “This committee is the result of a local initiative,” he said.
The committee, chaired by Secretary-Treasurer Terry Stapleton, was mandated by a resolution adopted at the 2006 National Convention. Resolution #523, submitted by the Pennsylvania Postal Workers Union, required the union president to form a committee to review the union’s elected staff at the headquarters and field levels, and distribute its findings to locals at least four months prior to the start of the 2008 National Convention.
12/20/2007 - A provision attached to the appropriations bill awaiting President Bush’s signature would indefinitely postpone most of the Postal Service consolidation plans still awaiting implementation.
The initial adjustment to the legislation came at the instigation of Rep. Jose Serrano (D-Bronx), who chairs the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government.
12/19/2007 - The APWU has written to all members of the U.S. House of Representatives, asking them to co-sponsor and support the Mail Network Protection Act, which would require the Postal Service to bargain with unions before committing to significant subcontracting. The legislation (H.R. 4236) was introduced by Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA) on Nov. 15.
Winning co-sponsors for H.R. 4236 [must be a priority for APWU activists, APWU President William Burrus said. “It is imperative that union members contact their representatives and let them know that this legislation is important to the future of the Postal Service and to postal workers.”
12/12/2007 - Rep. Stephen F. Lynch (D-MA) has asked his congressional colleagues to co-sponsor legislation he introduced last month that would require the Postal Service to bargain with unions before engaging in significant subcontracting.
Lynch’s Dec. 11, 2007, letter to fellow representatives outlines the importance of the legislation in maintaining the security of the mail network. While noting that contracting out core postal functions impacts “the allocation of work,” he said “this alarming trend bears much broader implications in terms of compromising the security of the U.S. mail network.
12/12/2007 - The USPS Board of Governors approved a Negotiated Service Agreement (NSA) on Dec. 11 that had been sharply criticized by the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC).
In a ruling issued Oct. 19, the rate commission concluded that the Postal Service could lose more than $45 million if the proposed agreement with Bank of America were implemented. Despite the potential losses, the PRC decided that the proposal could be justified under the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act.
12/10/2007 - An objection by the APWU to a change in postal policy regarding the use of biohazard detection equipment has averted a potentially serious safety hazard.
Management instructions issued Oct. 4, 2007, noted that the installation of biohazard detection equipment on Advanced Facer Cancellation machines had been completed, but went on to say that stamp mail could be cancelled on alternate equipment during peak cancellation periods or when volume exceeded capacity on AFCS machines.
12/05/2007 - “When it comes to paying health premiums, postal workers pay less than other federal workers,” said Mike Causey in a column posted on www.federalnewsradio.com Dec. 5. “They get the same coverage as employees with the IRS, Interior or Agriculture. But they pay about half as much for coverage.
New Limits of Numbers of Casuals Also Go Into Effect
11/28/2007 - “Dec. 1, 2007, will be a historic day for postal labor,” APWU President William Burrus declared this week. “It marks the elimination of part-time flexible employment for the Clerk Craft in large offices.
“As the result of contract negotiations, Clerk Craft PTFs will disappear as a job category in every postal installation of 200 work-years or more,” Burrus noted. “This has been a long-standing objective of postal employees, and it has finally been achieved.”